Children and young people have the right to receive information that is accessible to their needs.  This includes information about services and support that is available and the people and organisations that provide it.

An example of what we do

We create leaflets and templates in more accessible formats for children and young people, as well as giving advice to other workers on how to do this.  We created the 'About Me' Guide.  This guide is for workers to use to introduce themselves to children and young people they will be supporting.  There is also an 'About Our Group' guide for activity groups and clubs to use.  Children and young peope tell us that receiving a guide about someone they will be meeting for the first time reduces their anxiety and helps prepare them.

How children and young people are involved

We run two groups for young people who want to get involved in improving information for children and young people with SEND. The groups are the Young People's Easy Info Group and The Online Media Group.

The two groups look at leaflets, documents or websites created by workers for children and young people. The group members review the content, format, language and design and give advice on how to improve the document to ensure it is as accessible as possible for children and young people with SEND.  The Easy Info group members' feedback is written into a report for the worker who submitted the document, so that they can use the advice to improve their document.

The Online Media Group co-designed these web pages with us!  Thank you!  


Young People Say:

"It's frustrating if you don't know what the words mean and if they're too small you can't see them"

"Information should go to children and young people"
 

Children and young people have the right to give their views about their lives and the services and support they receive.  Adults should listen to their views, take them seriously and respond to them.  They should regularly ask children and young people what they think and they should use what they are told to inform planning and decision-making.

An example of what we do

We encourage workers to create simple 'Communication Profiles' for the children and young people they support.  Communication profiles give a brief summary of how a child or young person lets us know if they are happy or unhappy.  These profiles are particularly important for children and young people who mainly use behaviour, gestures or sounds to communicate.  The profiles help workers better understand children and young people.

How children and young people are involved

We carry out consultations with children and young people in and out of school. We have asked children and young people what they think about local leisure activities, how school is going for them, what they think of the help they get from therapists and what their hopes and dreams for the future are.  We share what they have told us (anonymously!) with the people who are running or planning the services and support, so they can take children's views into account.


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 Young People Say:

"It's important to get young people's opinions about what they want and need"

"Adults don't have the same viewpoint as children"

"Even if children can't speak, they can still communicate and give their views"

Children and young people have the right to take part in decisions about their own lives, about the support and services they receive and about their communities. Adults should empower and support them to be involved and should work in partnership with them where possible.

An example of what we do   

We worked with young people to design a new version of Section A of the Education, Health and Care Plan.  We wanted to create a form that as many children and young people as possible could complete independently.  Young people told us we needed to add lots of sections with clear headings in order to make it easier for them to complete.  It is really important that children and young people's views are central to their Education, Health and Care Plans and that they are at the centre of decisions and planning about their lives.


How children and young people are involved   

Young people take part in decisions about who works in Achieving for Children and in other organisations in the local area.  The 'Recruits Crew' is a group of young people who are fully involved in the recruitment process for new staff.  The Recruits Crew hold a separate interview with the candidates and then meet with the managers to share their views and together decide who should get the job.  The Recruits Crew has been involved in interviews for Physiotherapists, Social Workers, Education, Health and Care Plan Co-ordinators, Nurses, Managers, Directors, Psychologists, Support Workers and many many more.

Young People Say:

"We should be involved because the decision directly impacts on children and young people"

"We're proving to people that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover"

"You feel like you're making a difference"

Everyone should know what participation is, why it is important to listen to and involve children and young people and how to do so.  Children and young people should have the opportunity to share their stories and experiences, their views and messages and their advice and guidance with adults.

An example of what we do   

We give speeches, presentations, workshops and training sessions about the importance of listening to and involving children and young people.  We do this work in partnership with young people.

How children and young people are involved 

Young people are involved in all our speeches, presentations, workshops and training sessions.  Sometimes we deliver the sessions together and sometimes young people take the lead and we are just there to support them.

We have worked with young people to create a 1-day training course for workers called 'Young People's Voices - Personalisation and Participation'.  We run this course at least twice a year.

 

Young People Say:

"I felt relaxed around them (the delegates), because I knew they were here to learn from us"

"I feel proud when I do presentations"

All adults have a responsibility for listening to children and young people's views, taking them seriously and responding to them.  All professionals, teams and services should develop methods and resources to make sure this happens.

An example of what we do  

A lot of the work we do is about promoting participation and involves supporting other workers to improve how they listen to and involve children and young people with special educational needs and /or disability in decisions about their lives.  One of the ways we do this is through the 'Participation Leads' project.

The Participation Leads are workers who take the lead on promoting and embedding children and young people's participation within their particular teams.  The aim of the group is to ensure that children and young people's voices and views are embedded throughout all of the support and services they receive and to provide a group where workers can get advice and support and share information and ideas.

We have Participation Leads in a wide range of services and teams, including Social Care, Short Breaks, Therapies, Nursing, SEN, Community Paediatricians and the Emotional Health Service.  

How children and young people are involved

Some Participation Leads have met with children and young people to show them some of the information and resources they have developed and to find out what they think of them.  Other Participation Leads have submitted their new leaflets to the Easy Info. Group for their feedback.  We are hoping young people will attend future Participation Leads meetings that fall during the school holidays.

Young People Say:

"It's important for them to involve others in their decision-making"

"It's so professionals and services can have a better understanding and improve"

Would you like to get involved?  Contact Us!

We are the Participation Team for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and / or Disability.

We would love to hear from you if:

  • You are a child or young person (under 25 years) and you want to get involved in our projects or share your views
  • You know a child or young person who wants to get involved in our projects or share their views
  • You are an adult who would like to talk to us about how to listen to and involve children and young people 

Please contact us using the 'I want to get involved' form at the bottom of this page or directly at:

The Moor Lane Centre
Moor Lane
Chessington
KT9 2AA

Email:     participationiscd@achievingforchildren.org.uk

Office:     020 8547 6521 
Mobile:    07990 620707